LIVE TEXT: Updates from the 2024 Qatar Test

All the latest from the Lusail International Circuit

Monday and Tuesday sees MotoGP™ back on track in Qatar, with track action from 14:00 to 21:00 (UTC + 3) on each day – followed by a 15-minute practice start session. So join us here from Lusail as the final pieces of the puzzle slot into place before the first race!

Tuesday February 20th

21:30 - We'll end our coverage of the Test here! Don't worry though, stay tuned to motogp.com plus all of MotoGP™'s social media channels for the latest news and reaction from Lusail. The next time we'll see bikes on track is on March 8th for the Qatar Airways Grand Prix of Qatar. We'll see you then!
21:05 - It's Practice Start time in Qatar, and we'll soon start to hear from the riders themselves!
21:00 - CHEQUERED FLAG: And that is that for the Qatar Test! Pecco Bagnaia and Ducati take bragging rights in pre-season with a stunning 1:50.952 lap.
20:58 - Disappointing end to the Test for a couple Honda riders as both Joan Mir, Turn 13, and Johann Zarco, Turn 17, go down. Both riders are OK. 
20:54 - Brad Binder posts a late lap to go ahead of Marco Bezzecchi for P9. Just six minutes remain in the 2024 pre-season!
20:37 - And just a few moments later, Marc Marquez has crashed at Turn 4.
20:36 - Pedro Acosta making the most of his time in Qatar and has decided to chase eight-time World Marc Marquez around the track! It probably won't be the last time we say that in 2024.
20:30 - Watch After the Flag LIVE HERE!
20:20 - Just 40 minutes remain, and we still have the majority of riders out on track. Just 10 minutes too until After the Flag begins so put the kettle on and get comfortable!
20:03 - Aleix Espargaro has crashed at Turn 5. Rider Ok.
20:02 - A quick look at the timesheets then, and it is still a factory Ducati one-two at the top followed by Aleix Espargaro. Marc Marquez has pushed himself into P4 ahead of Maverick Viñales and Raul Fernandez's RS-GPs. Jorge Martin is in P7, while Jack Miller in P9 splits the VR46 duo of Di Giannantonio and Bezzecchi.
20:00 - Brad Binder has stopped with a technical issue at Turn 15 during his race sim. Before then, he was flying down the front straight and making some fun noises with his RC-16!

 

19:50 - Just over an hour to go at Lusail as riders complete some longer runs. In about 40 minutes, After the Flag goes LIVE and you can catch the latest news, interviews and reactions from the action at 20:30 (UTC +3)!
19:22 - Make that three RS-GPs in the top 10 as Viñales goes P4!
19:19 - Grim reading if you're not a Ducati fan. All seven full-time riders who are testing are inside the top eight times as Bastianini goes to P2 with a 1:51 flat. The sole exception is Aprilia stalwart Aleix Esparagro. Indeed, two Aprilias are in the top 10 with Raul Fernandez in P9, while KTM's Brad Binder clings onto P10 with his lap time from Monday. 
19:14 - Jorge Martin has moved up to P3. The lap times are really flying in now but can anyone catch Bagnaia? We have seen a few riders record red sectors, but not able to sustain it across a full lap. 
19:10 - Diggia manages to move to 0.537s of Bagnaia, while Aleix Espargaro gets himself to three tenths out. 
19:00 - INCREDIBLE! Pecco Bagnaia records a simply sensational 1:50.952! The reigning World Champion hasn't just spoiled the VR46 party, he has blown them out of the water! That is by far the fastest ever two-wheeled lap at Lusail and gives him six-tenths over his closest challenger. Breathtaking from the Italian. 
18:56 - Diggia bites back and takes top spot back from his teammate! A scintillating 1:51.569 lap is the new benchmark.
18:47 - It's a Ducati top six as Alex Marquez elevates himself to P2 and joins Bezzecchi in the 1:51s.
18:39 - LAP RECORD! And there it is! Bezzecchi goes under the official lap record set by Luca Marini at the 2023 Qatar GP. The Italian is 0.004s quicker thanks to his 1:51.758. The sun may have set but the hot laps are still coming in thick and fast at Lusail!
18:38 - Joan Mir has unfortunately picked up an illness and we wish the Repsol Honda rider a speedy recovery!
18:28 - Diggia rattled off a few time attacks in a row as he chased the first 1:51 of the Test but the Italian was unable to improve. On the otherside of the VR46 box, Marco Bezzecchi has kicked into gear and moved up to sixth. It's only a matter of time before we break into the 1:51s!
18:24 - We have a new fastest lap of the Test! Fabio Di Giannantonio has moved into P1 with a 1:52.008!

The Ducatis look great!

Simon Crafar on Midday Live from Lusail International Circuit
18:02 - Bastianini makes it a factory Ducati one-two in Qatar atop the combined timesheets.

18:00 - MIDDAY RECAP: Watch LIVE as we get an update on all the action at Lusail.

 

 

17:55 - We have a new session leader as Jorge Martin posts his fastest time of the Test to go top. It's still not as quick as Bagnaia's Monday effort, but we're getting close!

17:53 - Not long now until our opening live programme of the day, where we can catch up with Simon Crafar and Jorge Martin. Head on over to our Youtube or Instagram channels to watch it live.

17:42 - It's not just Day 2 of the Qatar Test, but it is also Love Your Pet Day! Here's some wholesome content of MotoGP™ riders with some of their best pals 🐶
17:36 - No changes to the top three on the combined timesheets, but Raul Fernandez has continued his strong testing form and leads the current session with a 1:52.483, with Marc Marquez and Pecco Bagnaia following suit. 
17:20 - 👀 TECH WATCH: No major innovations on display that we haven't already seen over the last few days of testing. At Aprilia, both Viñales and Oliveira are running the 2023 tail unit. Honda are running the new larger rear wing, while Nakagami continues to try the new larger front wings as well as the slightly smaller other wings. Yamaha have the new longer exhaust to smooth out the power delivery whilst trying to get the best out of a new soft rear tyre. Ducati and KTM/ GASGAS bikes seem pretty settled and look to just be fine-tuning set ups. 
17:15 - Pedro Acosta moves up to P12 overall after going on a longer run as the minutes tick by.
16:44 - But we don't have to wait long as the defending two-time MotoGP™ Champion Pecco Bagnaia breaks into the mid-1:52s!
16:43 - Plenty of riders out on track as Marc Marquez goes top for the current session, but we're still waiting for our first 1:52 lap of the day with just over four hours to go.
16:37 - Just the two improvers from yesterday's running, with Rins and Oliveira recording faster times though both remain outside the top 15 on the timesheets.
16:15 - Green flag and we're back underway.
16:12 - Seems like the red flags came out due to a technical issue for Joan Mir and his Repsol Honda. He stopped at Turn 1. We'll have to ask him later on what happened exactly.
16:06 - Red flag out. Appears all riders have returned to their boxes, which is positive news. More info when we have it.
15:40 - Marc Marquez is out on track, but before he could finish his first outlap of the day, he has stopped on track at Turn 15.
15:25 - Oliveira endured a tough outing on Monday, ending the day 21st with the slowest time of all full-time riders. It is cause for concern for the Portuguese rider, particularly as the other three RS-GPs had a strong opening day. 
15:20 - Miguel Oliveira, Cal Crutchlow and Michele Pirro have all ventured out on track but as of yet we don't have any lap times to match yesterday's efforts.
15:01 - 👀 TECH WATCH: Get a recap of all the innovations that our pitlane reporters spotted during Day 1 of testing right HERE!
15:00 - Alex Rins is now the sole rider on track as the Yamaha new boy looks to get to grips with the demands of the YZR - M1.
14:50 - Taka Nakagami joins Fernandez on track, as the first laps of the day come in.
14:40 - We have our first bike on track as Red Bull GASGAS Tech3's Augusto Fernandez is the first to attack the day! Meanwhile, Aprilia have added Test Rider Lorenzo Savadori to proceedings.
14:20 - Another slow start to proceedings then around lunchtime in Qatar, but while you're here, let's take a look back at what some of the top riders had to say after Day 1! Timesheet topper Pecco Bagnaia and his 2023 title rival Jorge Martin both struck a confident tone about the GP24 after they claimed P1 and P2 respectively. 
2021 World Champion Fabio Quartararo managed a top 10 finish, but still says the new Yamaha is still needing more one lap pace and rear grip, while Trackhouse Racing's new Team Manager, and a 2020 World Championship winning one with Joan Mir and Suzuki,  Davide Brivio stated his excitement by the new American-based project. 
14:02 - Conditions are better than 24 hours ago at Lusail, though it is still a little bit windy. No great rush out on to track as of yet!
14:00 - And the Green Flag has waved, and the testing is officially underway!
13:55 - And of course, you can follow how each rider is doing in real-time by following on Live Timing, which just so happens, is on special promotion for the Qatar Test!
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LIVE TIMING!
13:53 - Before the action begins, why not check out yesterday's highlights!? 
13:50 - A very big welcome back to you all as Lusail International Circuit gets set to host Day 2 of the Qatar Test! It's the final day of pre-season testing, so teams and rider will be going all out in search of the perfect package ahead of the opening round here in March.

Monday February 19th

21:48 - There will be plenty more rider interviews to come throughout the evening, and all will be available to watch on motogp.com. We're going to sign off from here for the evening though, and we'll be back for Tuesday's action! We'll see you then.

“We are not close to achieving the next step, but we have to be calm. The most important thing is to find the rear grip"

Fabio Quartararo
21:00 - CHEQUERED FLAG! That's it for the opening day of testing, and it is Pecco Bagnaia who leads the runnings in Lusail. Title rival Jorge Martin is close behind him with Aleix Espargaro closing out the top three. KTM's Brad Binder improved late on to make it three different constructors in the top four. All five manufacturers feature in the top 10 times, with Castrol LCR Honda's Johann Zarco P9, and Yamaha's Fabio Quartararo in P10. We're not quite done just yet, with riders now having a 15 minute window to try some practice starts, while After the Flag will broadcast until 22:00 (UTC +3)!
20:55 - Jack Miller has crashed at Turn 6 but has rejoined the action
20:42 - Simon Crafar dropping some nuggets of information on After the Flag, with Aprilia seemingly happy to forego testing their new engine until the opening round.

“Aprilia have told me they’re working on race set up… and the new engine isn’t coming for Aprilia until race weekend. They said it’s not a big change, just an upgrade”

Simon Crafar

20:28 - AFTER THE FLAG! Just a couple minutes away from analysis, interviews and reactions from Lusail with Louis Suddaby, Elliott York, Jack Gorst and Simon Crafar!

WATCH HERE

20:16 - Augusto Fernandez has crashed at Turn 1
20:05 - Jorge Martin lifts himself to P2 and it's now an all Ducati top three.
20:02 -  👀 TECH WATCH: Some new toys have been spotted on the Yamaha in Qatar, with the M1 sporting a new exhaust and dino wings.
Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP™, Qatar MotoGP™ Official Test
Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP™, Qatar MotoGP™ Official Test
20:00 - ONE HOUR TO GO! Just 60 minutes remain on Day 1 in Qatar. Who has impressed you so far?
19:53 - Diggia and A. Espargaro break up the Ducati Lenovo Team one-two! Currently eight riders have broken into the 1:52s, including Pedro Acosta in P8.
19:50 - The sunset certainly makes for a stunning backdrop to MotoGP™ at Lusail!

 

19:42 - Bastianini makes it a factory Ducati one-two, coming in half a second behind his teammate!
19:32 - Our reporters in pitlane have told us that Bagnaia has finally gone out with the full 2024 aero, and it looks to have had an immediate effect! The reigning Champion went top with a tenth to spare, before finding another six tenths for a brilliant 1:52.040 lap!  
19:30 - Just 90 minutes remaining in Day 1 of the Qatar Test, which means we're just an hour away from the start of the After the Flag programme which will bring us live coverage of the action!
19:14 - Diggia breaks up the Aprilia party and slots into P3. 
19:04 - Four riders into the 1:52s at Lusail, with Aleix Espargaro and Pecco Bagnaia joining Fernandez, but it is Maverick Viñales who reclaims top spot with a 1:52.754 to make it an Aprilia top three lockout as things stand!
18:45 - Raul Fernandez goes top after a sparring round with Brad Binder on the timesheets! A remarkable performance from the rider who was only declared fit on Monday!
18:38 - Due to technical reasons, MotoGP™'s midday recap has been cancelled. Don't worry however, you can still catch coverage of the Test from Lusail with After the Flag at 20:30 (UTC +3). 
18:34 - Diggia splits the Aprilias to move into P2, with Viñales in the unfamiliar position of P3 for today!
18:29 - And we have a new leader! It's still an RS-GP though, but this time it's Aleix Espargaro's! The #41 has spun off back-to-back fastest laps, and the new time to beat is 1:53.088.
18:22 - Meanwhile, the laps are still coming in thick and fast! Pecco Bagnaia has moved to within a tenth of Viñales, while Jorge Martin and Repsol Honda's Joan Mir have shot up the timesheets to P3 and P4 respectively. 
18:20 - 👀TECH WATCH: Some more tech news to bring you and it seems KTM's riders aren't major fans of the new air intake that was part of the whole new aero package. Our reporters in pitlane have spotted the bikes with the new side fairings but not the new front fairing that has the updated air intake. Below you can see the old style air intake at the front, new side fairings.

 

Brad Binder, Red Bull KTM Factory Racing, Qatar MotoGP™ Official Test
Brad Binder, Red Bull KTM Factory Racing, Qatar MotoGP™ Official Test

 

18:04 - Viñales looks to have found something on his RS-GP, as he fires in consecutive PB times to go to 1:53.276. Brad Binder has also fired himself up the timesheets to take P2 ahead of Fabio Di Giannantonio, who was another improver.
17:47 - And now Marc Marquez has come to play, joining Viñales in the 1:53s for P2!
17:44 - Viñales posts a new fastest lap, going 0.033s quicker with a 1:53.652.
17:37 - Bagnaia back into P2 now as Aleix Espargaro first goes P6, then improves for P4.
17:33 - A number of late lap times coming in just before the break! Bezzecchi has moved up to P2, Martin and Brad Binder also push themselves up the timesheets, but can anyone catch pace-setter Viñales?
17:21 - Just as the factory Ducati duo moved to within a few tenths of Viñales, Top Gun has responded with a fast lap of his own and becomes the first rider to move into the 1:53s.
17:15 - And the Italian is now joined by teammate Bastianini in the top three! The factory Ducatis get a couple time attacks in and any cause for panic has been averted!
17:10 - That's a bit more like it from the reigning Champion! Pecco Bagnaia is beginning to motor and moves into P2!
17:06 - Around about an hour until we hit the halfway mark, and just a reminder you can hear from Simon Crafar and Jack Gorst LIVE from the circuit for their midday recap!

 

 

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17:00 - Back at the business end of things, Alex Marquez moves himself into the top three, but is still half a second away from Viñales
16:58 - All 23 riders have now finally set lap times, and bottom of the pile is reigning, two-time MotoGP™ Champion Pecco Bagnaia. Indeed it's not been an ideal day on the timesheets for the factory Ducatis, with Bastianini fourth from bottom currently. 
16:53 - Viñales shifts the goalposts again and finds another eight-tenths to go to 1:54 flat.
16:45 - Enjoy a glimpse of the action from Lusail so far

 

16:41 - Pedro Acosta has been a busy boy today, completing 26 laps so far, 10 more than anybody else, and on his 23rd, he jumped back into second on the timesheets!
16:23 - Talk about the commentator's curse eh? Just as I say that, Gresini's Marc Marquez moves into third place at the expense of the Frenchman. Sorry Fabio!
16:22 - Fabio Quartararo 'feeling good' on and off track it seems. The Yamaha star currently sits third on the timesheets, and seems to enjoy a good stroll around Lusail's impressive paddock!
16:11 - It was a pretty difficult outing for Augusto Fernandez in Sepang and he would have hoped his fortunes would change in Qatar, but he has encountered more issues. Apparently suffering from a technical problem, the #37 was spotted rolling back through pitlane.
15:56 - Viñales deposes Martin from top spot now. Top Gun is still three seconds out from the lap record though. 20 riders have now set a time, with three still yet to feature. Both LCR Honda's Johann Zarco and Taka Nakagami are yet to exit pitlane as is Raul Fernandez
15:48 - And just as I say expect it to change, it does! Jorge Martin giving everyone a timely reminder of his blistering speed over one lap to go two-tenths clear, before extending his advantage on the follow up to a whopping 1.3 seconds! 
15:47 - We have a new leader as Fabio Di Giannantonio (Pertamina Enduro VR46 Racing Team) goes fastest, but we're still about six seconds shy of the lap record so expect plenty more change at the top. 
15:40 - Here we go then! The action is beginning to heat up now as some of the MotoGP™ heavyweights join the fray! Jack Miller joins the other three RC16s on track and goes top on his fourth effort with a 1:57.204, while Ducati's Pecco Bagnaia and Marco Bezzecchi are also spinning laps in Lusail.
15:30 - For all you MotoGP™ tech fans, we have an early post of what has been spotted so far at Lusail International Circuit HERE! Honda's aero package, Viñales false roof, Bastianini's 2023 set up and some beautiful liveries are all touched upon!
15:26 - No mistake this time around though as Acosta goes three-tenths clear on the next lap. Yamaha Test Rider Cal Crutchlow is also out on track and is just the fourth rider to post a lap time. 
15:25 - Binder has pushed himself top of the timesheets. Acosta is back out on track and tried to respond, but fell just 0.001s short in his first effort, losing quite a bit of time in the final sector having had a couple tenths in his back pocket.
15:17 - Brad Binder (Red Bull KTM Factory Racing) jumps up to second behind Acosta as the South African attack Lusail International Circuit for the first time. As things stand, he is just the third rider to set a lap time so far. 
15:09 - Confirmation then that we will be seeing Raul Fernandez at the Qatar Test. The Spaniard has been declared FIT to ride after a visit to the medical centre.
14:55 - 👀TECH WATCH: With minimal action on track, that's allowed some of our intrepid reporters in pitlane to have a look around the boxes and they have spotted a few things! Interestingly, having previously worked with external manufacturers, it seems that all four Hondas are equipped with a swingarm designed by the Japanese manufacturer themselves. At Aprilia, Maverick Viñales' search for a good feeling with his 2024 RS-GP continues, with Top Gun trying an older tail unit along with the new. He also has a piece in the roof of the underseat diffuser that makes it smaller. It appears that whatever effect it's having on the bike, Viñales wants less of it. Take a look at the piece of kit on the #12 bike in comparion to his teammate Aleix Espargaro's. 
Tech Photos, Aprilia Racing, Qatar MotoGP™ Official Test
Tech Photos, Aprilia Racing, Qatar MotoGP™ Official Test
Tech Photos, Aprilia Racing, Qatar MotoGP™ Official Test
Tech Photos, Aprilia Racing, Qatar MotoGP™ Official Test
14:50 - A little more track action then as the Red Bull GAGSGAS Tech3 boys have come out to play, and Pedro Acosta has gone top, courtesy of a 1:58.171. That is still some way short of Luca Marini's 2023 pole setting time. Augusto Fernandez has also spun a few laps on track to get a taste of conditions at Lusail.
14:35 - Less than ideal track conditions then in Qatar has seen minimal action across the opening 35 minutes or so. Pirro managed to squeeze in six laps and sits atop the timesheets. If you fancy a coffee, then now is the perfect opportunity to go grab one!
14:10 - After a slow start, we have our first rider out on track, and that is Prima Pramac's Michele Pirro! Reigning World Champion Francesco Bagnaia (Ducati Lenovo Team) is next out!
14:00 - And it is time to go testing as the green flag waves at Lusail International Circuit!
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LIVE TIMING!
13.50 - A reminder then that Franco Morbidelli (Prima Pramac Racing) is once again absent as he continues his recovery from a testing crash in Portimao during the pre-season. Raul Fernandez (Trackhouse Racing) had to end his Sepang Test early due to heavy crash, but should take part in the action. Sticking with Trackhouse Racing, and new recruit Davide Brivio is in Qatar as the 2020 World Champion winning Team Manager begins his adventure with the American based outfit. 

 

13.35 - A busy day awaits, and motogp.com and MotoGP™'s social media channels will be bringing you plenty of coverage of the action from the circuit itself. Jack Gorst and Simon Crafar are our men on the ground at Lusail, and they'll be keeping an eye on all the tech developments while also presenting the mid-day recap, before later joining Elliott York and Louis Suddaby for After the Flag. Check out the schedule below!

  

12:30 - There's not long to go now, with the final two days of testing kicking off at 14:00 (UTC +3) local time. We'll be keeping you up to date with all the action and news throughout Monday and Tuesday, so make sure you stay tuned! While we're waiting for the track action to begin, why not take a look back on Sunday at Lusail, where Aprilia Racing held their 2024 Team Presentation!
11:30 - Good morning from Lusail!